Summary of Offense:
On July 25, 1986, Robert Long was sentenced to death for the murder of Michelle Simms in Hillsborough County, Florida. On November 16, 1984, Long was arrested and charged for the kidnapping and sexual battery of Lisa McVey. In a confession obtained on that date, Long gave the following account of the events that preceded Michelle Simms’ death. Long bought some rope the night before the murder and cut it into sections before it was put in his vehicle’s glove box.
Long then went looking for a prostitute along Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. Long then stopped next to the victim and obtained her company for $50. After the victim entered the car, Long drove approximately one mile before making the victim undress at knife point and reclined the passenger’s seat until it was flat before he tied her up. Long stated that he then drove approximately 15-20 miles before he raped the victim. Long then talked to the victim and told her that he was going to drop her off where he picked her up. Instead, Long drove to Plant City where he attempted to strangle the victim. When that failed, he hit her head with a club and pushed her from the vehicle. Long left her on the side of the road after he slit her throat. Long discarded the victim’s clothing at the scene of the murder.
The nude body of Michelle Simms was discovered on May 27, 1984, in a wooded area near Plant City, Florida. A rope was tied around the victim’s wrists and around her body to restrict the movement of her hands and her clothing was scattered in the surrounding area. The victim’s throat was cut, there was blood on her face and head and the victim also suffered from rope burns on her neck and chin. The medical examiner stated that the cause of death could have been either strangulation, bleeding from two knife slashes in her neck, or head injuries.
Long was re-sentenced to death in Hillsborough County on July 21, 1989.